This New York City Ballet fall season will be fun to watch with a number of debuts, particularly among the men to fill slots from departing dancers due to the sex photo exchange scandal (see my article for thoughts). The Wednesday performance of Jewels featured debut performances from: Taylor Stanley and Unity Phelan in Emeralds; Claire Kretzschmar (replacing Isabella LaFreniere) in Rubies; and Joseph Gordon in Diamonds. The highlight of the evening was Gordon, who danced Diamonds with great command. His solo was outstanding, one of the best I’ve seen in the role with smooth turns in second position with alternating single and doubles, high double tours, and a smooth coupé jeté manége. Gordon was regal in his partnering, a complete cavalier showing great deference and respect to his partner Sara Mearns, in great contrast to the recent NYCB off stage debauchery towards women. Gordon will not remain a Soloist for long. Sara’s work was solid, flowing to the Tschaikovsky score. The partnering sections were well done, except for rough edges on several supported turns.
In Emeralds, Tiler Peck displayed great musicality, expressive with light airy arms and supple back to the beautiful Gabriel Fauré score. Taylor Stanley was solid in his debut, with a nice line and grace, providing Tiler with ample support. In the “walking” pas de deux, Unity Phelan gave a nice debut performance, with strong support from Adrian Danchig-Waring. In the pas de trois, Sean Suozzi struggled on a pirouette and tour diagonal, not his strong suit.
In Rubies, Claire Kretzschmar replaced Isabella LaFreniere in the “tall girl” role, with no word on whether Isabella was injured. Claire was scheduled to make her debut later in the week. Claire’s debut went well, but her technique was tentative in some segments. Sterling Hyltin and Andrew Veyette lacked energy as leads.